OVERDRIVE: LA Constructs the Future, 1940-1990
The J. Paul Getty Museum
Through July 21
Gleaming cars speeding down an intricate freeway system, flashy movie theatres, quirky coffee shops, sleek corporate towers and residential spaces, drive-in churches, the infamous Hollywood sign, LAX Airport (above), and a lucrative petroleum industry are just some of the many impressive characteristics associated with the rich culture of Los Angeles. This exhibition at The J. Paul Getty Museum explores a metropolis that remained in “overdrive” throughout the 20th century, implementing cutting-edge architectural design to effectively respond to civic, environmental, and socioeconomic challenges that plagued the city. In just 50 years, the city rapidly evolved into one the most influential industrial, creative, and economic capitals in the world. Through drawings, photographs, models, animations, oral histories, and ephemera, the exhibition celebrates the notable transformation of the city of Los Angeles from 1940–1990.
New York City will be hit by a design storm this May. Along with the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) taking place May 18 through 21 at the Javits Center, The New School is throwing its annual Parsons Festival, May 5 through 24, at locations across the city. Both events feature cutting edge design establishing NYC as a major design capital.
The gentle drumming sound of rainfall is one that many of us find soothing, but it is a natural phenomena that we can only experience at a safe distance without suffering the consequence of being drenched. With their one-of-a-kind installation, Rain Room, the designers at rAndom international made what you thought was impossible possible—presenting anyone who is curious for a new sensation with the opportunity to fully experience standing unprotected in the rain without ever getting wet.
Gutai: Splendid Playground
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York
Through May 8
“Don’t imitate others!” and “Engage in the newness!” are just two of the signature slogans of the Gutai Art Association, founded in July 1954 by Jiro Yoshihara. The Gutai—which translates to “concreteness”—artists dared to breakthrough the boundaries presented by traditional Japanese art. As their name suggests, the artists directly engaged with concrete materials (such as remote-control toys, sand, light bulbs, and paper screens) to create a new, never before seen, kind of art. The creative genius of these avant-garde artists manifested itself in the form of various mediums including, but not limited to, painting, installation and performance art, experimental film, and environmental art. Gutai: Splendid Playground explores the works of these artists, created over a span of two-decades, and features an enormous installation by Motonaga Sadamasa composed of a series of plastic tubes filled with colored water. The structure, created specifically for the Guggenheim’s rotunda, invites visitors to look up and use these “brush strokes” to create their own individual composition.
Through April 28
Jon Kessler’s The Web, currently on view at the Swiss Institute through April 28, is an immersive array of monitors, enlarged MacBooks, cameras, mechanical and animatronic sculptures—the latter of the artist himself—set to a sound track of the eponymous Apple computer chime. Enabled through mobile technology, the environment plugs you into a closed-circuit feedback loop. You download an iPhone app that allows you to feed your experience of the installation into the system as your movements are also simultaneously tracked, captured, and fed into the system. Cleverly re-staging Jean Tinguely’s self destructive drawing machine for the digital age, you are only image. Caught in this web, you are broadcast at those moments when you think you are most in control. You appear only to disappear and then to reappear somewhere else again, and again. You have your images, but The Web has you.
At 7pm, Saturday, April 28 at the Swiss Institute, Jon Kessler will hold a press conference/performance announcing the launch of his latest business enterprise, GlblVlgIdiot, devoted to the creation of iPhone apps similar to The Web that “bridge the gap between life and art.” Click here for reservations.
At War With The Obvious: Photographs by William Eggleston
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Howard Gilman Gallery 852
Through July 28
William Eggleston, one of the first American photographers to experiment with modern color photography in the 1960s, is known for his ability to capture the essence of southern life through photographs of ordinary people, scenes of everyday life, and commonplace objects, such as a child’s tricycle or a sign reading “Peaches!” set against the backdrop of a cerulean blue sky. Eggleston produced much of his color photography with a dye transfer printmaking process, a technique that was previously used solely for commercial and advertising purposes, and established it as a prominent artistic medium in the American tradition. The Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition, At War With the Obvious, celebrates Eggleston’s work by presenting together for the first time thirty-six dye transfer prints he created in the 1970s. It also features his first portfolio of color photographs, fifteen prints from his landmark book, and seven other of his most recognized photographs.
AI WEIWEI: ACCORDING TO WHAT?
Indianapolis Museum of Art
Allen Whitehill Clowes Special Exhibition Gallery
4000 Michigan Road
Through July 21
Ai Weiwei is internationally recognized as one of China’s most controversial and influential contemporary artists. In his exhibition Ai Weiwei: According to What?, the artist, through various media (sculpture, photography, architectural installations, and video), boldly addresses issues of human rights in China and comments on the nation’s history, traditions, and politics. The exhibit features more than 30 works spanning more than 20 years. One is an early work, Forever (2003), in which Ai arranged 42 Forever brand bicycles into a circle, to honor China’s most popular, and reliable (the bicycles were made of heavy-duty steel), mode of transportation during the mid-1900s. The exhibit is also devoted to Ai’s more provocative pieces, such as a 38-ton steel carpet entitled Straight (2008). The artist used rusted steel rebar taken from the remains of a poorly-built school that collapsed during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake that tragically killed more than 5,000 schoolchildren. The piece commemorates the thousands of lost lives while openly condemning the Chinese government’s stance on human rights.
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
220 East Chicago Avenue
Through June 18
Jason Lazarus’ exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago centers around three pieces. The first, Untitled (2013), is a performance piece featuring a classical piano student playing Frederic Chopin’s Nocturne in F minor, mistakes and all. Phase 1/Live Archive (2011-present) is a collection of Occupy Wall Street signs, remade by both Lazarus and the public and based on images from print and online sources. The final piece is a project that explores the thin line between public and private sectors through media generated photography. In employing found photographs he also comments on ways archives are used and on their relationship to history. Lazarus, a Chicago-based artist, is best known as a photographer, though he is also deeply invested in the art of sign making, both physically and symbolically. He has recently expanded his artistic practice into art collector, archivist, and curator.
Storefront for Art and Architecture
97 Kenmare Street
Through April 27
Aircraft Carrier examines the dramatic changes that occurred in Israeli architecture between two catalyzing moments in global capitalism, 1973 and 2008. The events of the former, marked by irreparable changes in American relations to the Middle East and the fundamental structures of Israeli society, drastically altered the course of Israeli architecture. Presented through diverse works of photography and video art from international artist Florian Holzherr, Nira Pereg, Jan Tichy, Asaaf Evron, and Fernando Guerra, the exhibition explores this transformative period, the American imprint that endowed it, and the radical changes in Israeli architecture that emerged from it.
Thomas Ruff: photograms and ma.r.s
David Zwirner Gallery
525 West 19th Street
New York, NY
Through May 4
This March, Thomas Ruff’s seventh solo exhibition at the David Zwirner Gallery will be dedicated to two of the late twentieth-century German photographer’s most recent projects: photograms and ma.r.s. Ruff’s photograms series features a unique collection of “camera-less” photography—a technique used by photographers in the 1920s in which objects are placed on photosensitive paper and exposed to light. The outcome is the negative image of the object revealing itself in the form of a grey or white shadow glowing against a black backdrop. Ruff adds layers to his visually intriguing compositions—which mostly depict abstract lines, shapes, and spirals—by adding color and implementing varying degrees of transparency and lighting. To create his ma.r.s series, short for Mars Reconnaissance Survey, Ruff manipulated black-and-white satellite images, taken by a NASA spacecraft of the surface of Mars, and dramatically increased the saturation of the images, creating a striking representation of the planet’s rugged terrain.
American Standard Movement
Smart Museum of Art
University of Chicago
5550 South Greenwood Avenue, Chicago
Through October 6
Valerie Snobeck reuses left over construction materials from a project on the University of Chicago campus in her exhibition American Standard Movement, which is showing at the Smart Museum of Art’s courtyard. In doing so, her work presents questions of art, materiality, temporality, and significance. The exhibition displays a net tacked up against a wall and adorned with markings derived from repair tools that measure the small inner parts of watches. The function of netting is twofold: to catch the construction’s falling dust and debris and to serve as a visible indicator of the construction site and its parameters. Netting acts as a temporary stand-in for a wall during construction, but, due to its malleable nature and woven fabric, is physically unlike a wall. Snobeck’s net is not being used in its typical function, but is not necessarily functionless. She asks viewers to consider what is behind netting and what is being built or rebuilt. American Standard Movement proposes a connection between the body and space measured in parts. The piece questions efforts to dictate the future in physical and speculative ways.
Kate Gilmore: Body of Work
11400 Euclid Avenue
Through June 9
Through performance-based art, Kate Gilmore presents her body battling through strenuous physical absurdities while wearing whimsical feminine outfits, like fitted dresses and high heels. Her clothing makes the chaotic and messy actions all the more uncomfortable and comical. Gilmore’s performances reexamine the feminist performance art that became popular in the 1970s. By injecting humor into her work alongside visible awkwardness and distress, she explores the female identity while breaking down accepted masculine art practices found in modernist history. Her aggressive movements against feminine tones make the performance visually interesting. For her first solo show, the artist will display ten years of video works. The exhibition will also feature a recently commissioned performance in the form of a sculpture and video.